As we all know, Tokyo is a bustling city constantly filled with activity. For tourists, the city can be a little overwhelming and confusing, what with its maze-like subway systems with little to no signs in English.
It’s no wonder many tourists choose to sign up for tour packages to avoid the hassle of navigating Tokyo on their own. However, tour packages only show you the surface of what the city has to offer.
Shinji Nohara however, shows you an entirely unique side of the city. Famously known as the “Tokyo Fixer”, Shinji takes people to the best spots in Tokyo.
Each tour is personally tailored to his clients’ likes and dislikes, giving everyone he meets a truly unique experience.
Shinji, who was born and raised in Tokyo, started out as a food writer for a variety of famous Japanese publications. He is also fluent in English, thanks to watching a lot of Star Wars as a kid.
His rise to fame came along when he was chosen to guide the world famous Anthony Bourdain on his first trip to Japan.
After he was featured on Bourdain’s hit TV show, “A Cook’s Tour”, Shinji received calls from many people asking him to guide their trips to Japan.
Soon, his clientele expanded so much that he decided to quit his job and pursue being a full-time “fixer”.
Since he is so well-known in the city, Shinji has no problem with getting reservations at the most exclusive spots, including the Michelin-star restaurants!
What would normally take months for ordinary people, will usually take minutes for Shinji to book highly coveted reservations thanks to his connections.
When Shinji takes his clients to restaurants, he usually orders food on behalf of them, after finding out their tastes beforehand.
Another thing that’s really interesting about him is that he likes spontaneous trips and doesn’t plan his tours most of the time.
As he talks and gets to know his clients, he makes sure to listen carefully to what they say and takes mental notes on what else he can show them.
Of course, a highly personalised tour like this fetches a heavy price. Shinji typically charges his clients $780 US Dollars per day for his service – that’s equivalent to RM3,453!
However, if his tours are way out of your budget, Shinji does have some tips for those interested in visiting Tokyo. This was what he told NextShark:
- Talk to the locals! They’ll be more than happy to suggest some interesting and unique spots to visit.
- Walk more! He suggests taking back alley routes instead of sticking to the main streets to increase your chances of finding more cool spots.
- Avoid restaurants with picture menus and make sure they have an open kitchen.
Well, considering the unique experiences you get out of it, we definitely think he’s worth the price!